Israel has agreed to another attempt at a 72-hour humanitarian cease fire, this one brokered with “all” of the Palestinian Arab factions by Egypt in Cairo. Hamas agreed to this truce, according to all reports, but it remains to be seen whether all of its various splintered factions will comply for the full 72 hours.
The truce, which stipulates further talks in Cairo to attempt to reach a permanent agreement and which went into effect at 8 am Tuesday morning, did not begin quietly. It was a situation Israeli officials anticipated and therefore planned for by temporarily closing Israeli air space. The Israel Airports Authority reported that 19 flights were delayed at Ben Gurion International Airport ahead of the “truce” as a result.
“Israel supports the Egyptian initiative, Israel wants a cease fire without preconditions. Today the tunnel demolitions were completed,” an Israeli government spokesperson told media late Monday night.
The Security Cabinet is expected to meet sometime on Tuesday to discuss the next step in light of the 72-hour cease fire now in progress.
Right up until the very last second – literally – was preceded by a barrage of more than dozen Qassam and Grad missile attacks fired at Israel by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad factions from Gaza.
Shortly before 8 am, at least 26 of the rockets actually reached Israeli territory, aimed at Ashdod, Ashkelon, Rehovot, Rishon LeZion, Kiryat Malachi, Gan Yavne, Be’er Sheva, Ma’ale Adumim, and the Shfela region.
One Hamas rocket hit an Arab’s home in Beit Sahour, a village in Palestinian Authority-controlled territory.
Another rocket hit a town in Gush Etzion.